This map shows the new 70 mph speed zones statewide. (Source: ODOT)
COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The Ohio Department of Transportation has unveiled a map identifying interstate highway locations where motorists will be legally permitted to drive 70 mph starting this summer.
The new designations follow recently passed legislation permitting speeds to increase from 65 to 70 mph on certain sections of interstate highways. H.B. 51, the state's transportation budget bill, which goes into effect July 1, increased speeds to 70 mph on interstates "outside urbanized areas."
However, the 70 mph speed limit is not new to Ohio. Motorists are already legally permitted to drive 70 mph on all 241 miles of the Ohio Turnpike. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 34 other states in the nation have posted speed limits of 70 mph or higher including Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia.
"It will make it a more even flow with the traffic and we've got it in Michigan," said driver Kris Collier. "I was a little worried about it at first, when they did that, but it has been fine. It really has."
ODOT is making 317 new signs to comply with the legislation and alert motorists to the increased speed at a total cost of $8,287. The signs are expected to be in place and revealed July 1.
8 are "reduced speed ahead" signs
48 are brand new speed limit signs
261 are sign pieces that will simply overlay the current 65 number with the new speed limit
The new law increases the speed on 570 miles out of 1,332 miles of the state's interstate highways.
The exact location of the speed increases are:
From the Indiana border in the west to just outside Wheeling, WV in the east, excluding Dayton, Columbus and Zanesville
From the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in southwest Ohio to just south of the Cuyahoga/Medina county line in the north, excluding Columbus
From just outside Toledo southbound until just north of Dayton, excluding Findlay and Lima
From just outside Akron eastbound to just west of Youngstown
From just outside Canton south to the West Virginia border
From just outside Cleveland to the Pennsylvania border